Pushing the String

Q: I’ve always been organized and efficient, but lately everything’s a foggy mess. I just can’t get it together. Are the stars in some weird alignment or something?

A: Yeah, the stars are always in some weird alignment, didn’t you know? For about the last 5 years, at least, I always hear someone telling me that “Mars is in retrograde—your computer won’t work,” or “There’s that 5 star alignment—it’s knocking everything on its ear.”

I don’t pretend to understand all of that, and I’m not making light of astrology, because I think there’s probably some truth to the fact that we can be affected by what the stars are doing. After all, I believe everything is connected, so what happens out there affects us down here. Something like the butterfly effect.
But to answer your question more specifically, I understand better what’s going on with all of us down here on the physical plane, because that’s been my area of interest for the past 20 years or so.

Here’s the deal: all of us are used to going about our lives in a certain way, mostly automatic. Don’t you? I get up, floss and brush my teeth, eat a piece of fruit, drink some gunpowder green tea, do some stretches, meditate, on and on.

I don’t deviate that much from day to day. Routine brings me comfort, as it does for most people.

But the catch is that sometimes your routines aren’t always in your best interests, such as drinking 3 cups of coffee with a big chocolate frosted donut, then racing through your shower and sprinting out the door because you’re late for work, sitting at the desk all day, coming home to Chinese take-out, and a long visit with your comfy couch until bedtime.

Automatic is nice in one sense because you don’t have to expend extra energy being conscious—you just do things like you’ve always done them, day in and day out. But now we’re being asked to wake up, to live more consciously, to be 100% in our lives, not just going through the motions anymore.

When I look at you, I’m seeing someone who likes things streamlined—no big surprises, pretty smooth sailing, with some adventures (fun, not difficult) peppered throughout your days. Predictable, not painful.
But now none of your neat lists can save you—unexpected stuff comes up, plans fall through, you can’t concentrate like you could before to even make your lists, and you’re getting frustrated, like you’re looking through the fog, and can’t see anything clearly.

Chances are, this is your wakeup call to look at your life and your routine.

Write down a typical day for you, even plan out a whole week to include weekly things (like working out, lunches with friends, etc.).
How are your days broken up? Do you have lots of downtime in there, or are you pretty scheduled to the gills with commitments and obligations?

Do you do fun things, spontaneous things, frivolous things, no things? Just look at what you’ve written, objectively, and see if anything jumps out at you.

Are there things you’d like to change, things you can change?

Try making one small change at a time, like, “Meditate for at least 5 minutes every morning.” It doesn’t have to be a formal thing, just sitting quietly with your eyes closed, taking a few deep breaths - no biggy. Just a suggestion.
It isn’t that you’re doing something wrong, it’s just the thought that you could be more flexible and aware of your life.
Each moment is this one big precious time, the only real time you ever get, as the past is gone, and the future hasn’t happened.

Even thinking about what’s going on with others right now is an illusion, as you can’t possibly know about their lives—you aren’t in them.

You’re only in your one, beautiful life—what are you doing with it? Are you living it, or waiting for your real life to begin?

Are you practicing for the main event? News flash - you’re in it. You have been, ever since you were born.

We aren’t really programmed to think that way, though. We’re not programmed to be happy exactly where we are—there’s always room for improvement, and we need to keep working for that greater happiness, so we don’t concentrate on where we are—we look around to see what’s better, then try to get there.

Only we never get “there,” do we? That better place is always elusive, because it isn’t out there—it’s right there inside of us—perfect.

We don’t have to do anything to have a great life—the first step may just be realizing how perfect our life is—right now.
No need for lists or schedules or organization. It’s more a matter of trust that your life will continue to unfold in perfect order.

You don’t need to keep “pushing the string,” as my smart husband says.

What does that mean? If you take a piece of string and get in front of it and pull, the string naturally and easily follows where you pull it. But if you get behind that string and try to control it, it wobbles and doesn’t go anywhere.
If you take the events in your life and try to control them all, they seem to run wild, but if you just take the lead in your life, quietly walking front and center, then let Life fall in line behind you, everything works out beautifully.

Maybe not the exact way you thought it would, but perhaps even more perfectly than you could have ever planned.

If you’re confused and foggy, step out from behind your life. Pause, take a look around, take a look at your life, then walk softly and confidently to the front of your life and just start walking.

I guarantee you that your Life will follow you, and everything will flow a lot more smoothly than all of those times you tried to organize and plan it into submission.

Sure, you might’ve crossed things off your list, but were they leading where you wanted to go?

There’s no harm in taking a time-out, a breather from the hamster wheel. Take an afternoon, an evening, a weekend, a week.

Shake things up, do nothing, do something you’ve never done before. Daydream. Call an old friend. Find a new hobby.
Life should be a grand adventure, not a grind.

I’m happy you’re feeling this—it means you’re waking up, coming alive to your new life. If you try to see it as a good thing, you might not fight it so much.

Have a little fun, laugh a little, take a nap. You’ll know when you’re at the front of your life because you’ll feel different inside—more solid, more peaceful, deeper, maybe.

But better? Definitely better, and in my books, better is a good thing.

Posted 5 years, 10 months ago by Susie Ekberg | Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | View Susie Ekberg's profile.

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